The Global Compact on Refugees underscored fundamental principles and standards of refugee protection, while recognizing that upholding them is a shared responsibility that cannot be left entirely to those who, by accident of geography, find themselves hosting large refugee populations. In light of this, the Global Refugee Forum marked the launch of several mechanisms for exchange and support. The Asylum Capacity Support Group (ACSG) is one example of a GRF initiative designed to encourage solidarity between States, providing a mechanism to strengthen the asylum capacity of countries with large refugee populations through support from States or other stakeholders.
The Compact also recognizes that statelessness may be both a cause and consequence of refugee movements. Pledges made towards the protection of stateless people at the High-Level Segment on Statelessness and the Global Refugee Forum in 2019 are therefore vital to the spirit of inclusion at the heart of the GCR.
Read more to discover progress on asylum capacity and statelessness.
Asylum Capacity Support Group
Since the ACSG’s launch, the ACSG Secretariat, jointly with UNHCR’s Regional Bureaux and Country Offices, has worked with States to concretize their pledges into actionable requests/offers and is pursuing matching opportunities in line with the prioritization outlined in the ACSG Guide.
In 2020, three offers of support have been successfully matched with requests for support between the following States: 1) France and Chad; 2) France and Niger; 3) Canada and Mexico.
Looking ahead, the ACSG Secretariat will continue to assess the potential for additional matches using GRF pledges as well as requests or offers of support that will be submitted in the future.
An ACSG online portal is also in the process of being developed. It will share information on countries that are matched, the support provided under the ACSG Mechanism, and provide good practice examples and tools to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise in relevant areas.
Despite the impact of COVID-19 on statelessness-related efforts, notable progress was made in the year following the High-Level Segment on Statelessness and Global Refugee Forum. At least 17 pledges have thus far been implemented so far, including:
The accession to UN Statelessness Conventions by Malta and North Macedonia
The establishment of a statelessness determination procedure in Côte d’Ivoire and Kazakhstan
The signing of an amnesty law benefiting stateless persons in Tajikistan
The adoption of National Action Plans to End Statelessness in the Central African Republic, Côte d’Ivoire, and Rwanda.
For a number of other pledges, significant progress was made:
The President of Azerbaijan signed a decree granting citizenship to 86 stateless persons, in line with its pledge to naturalize 545 stateless persons in the three years following the High-Level Segment.
As part of the pledge of the Royal Thai Government to adjust naturalization requirements for specific stateless groups, a guideline was issued easing several requirements for registered ethnic minorities.
Albania took a significant step to prevent childhood statelessness by introducing a safeguard in the nationality law to grant nationality to children born in the territory if they would otherwise be stateless.
We continue to invite pledging entities to submit updates on pledge implementation. Please visit this page to submit a new update.